Buzzwords glossary for dummies* v. 2017

Published on 3 August 2017 by Tomislav Rozman

*With no intention to offend anyone. Related to the famous book series “XXX for dummies”.

If you will attend one of the buzzword & hype packed events and talk to the attendees, or, if you scroll down the LinkedIn news stream, you just have to know the basics of the modern 2017’ fluff speech.

So here are the basics and after memorising these definitions, you will be able to participate in any b**s-bingo small talk.

Digital transformation!

Plain old informatization using mobile apps, sensors, databases and the crowd. The rise of the ‘middleman/broker’ (don't forget to mention AirBNB, Uber and similar at this point). Nothing new actually. Somebody will still have to produce things and provide services.


Connecting to sensors and controlling all kind of useless toys via one of the internet communication protocols.

Nothing new actually. I remember my schoolmate who controlled his toy-train using some PICs, resistors and transistors back in 90’. Add an embedded webserver to that and you have IoT.


Ever downloaded porn via bittorent from multiple ‘seeders’ ? Apply this concept to all kinds of transactions (money transactions, trading, healthcare records...). Distributed databases + bittorent + encryption (from conceptual point of view).

RPA (Robotic Process Automation)!

Software robot? Give me a break. An application is an application, no matter how you name it, even if it moves a mouse pointer and fills text fields instead of you.

Another application of BPM (Business Process Management) for boring, repetitive user interface tasks.

uX design (User Experience)!

Process modelling from the customer viewpoint. Old as Henry Ford.

User(player/learner) journey design

See the previous.

Big Data!

Storing & analysing big amounts of data or data streams produced by all kinds of unnecessary toys (see IoT above). Not necessarily well structured in tables. But how big is ‘big’? Usually too big to open it in your Excel on your laptop. Logically, you need more computers to handle it.

Or, ask LHC(Large Hadron Collider) how much data they produce when colliding particles since.... Or, Google when analyzing clickstreams in your Google Analytics (since year … you get the point).


How to engage your customers/employees/learner to be more loyal/buy more/do more/be more. Old as humanity. It’s plain psychology. Well known by every kindergarten teacher. Or a game developer. Take one of them and put her/him in HR department, e-learning company or sales consultancy. Voila.

Smart City!

Come on. The city is not and can not be smart. People are smart. The city can be clean, sustainable, with a good infrastructure, citizens can be well connected, city services can be automated which altogether makes the experience of living and working there pleasant.

Industry 4.0!

IoT+BPM+AI applied to conveyor belts.


Basically, more than one server (at least we hope so) running some-kind of web app.

Did I miss any?

Further reading